Upon arriving in Hacienda AltaGracia, I knew I was in for an adventure.
The natural beauty.
The undeniably stunning beaches.
The incredible wildlife.
The delicious food.
The hospitable people.
All make it beyond comparable to anywhere else I have visited.
Hacienda AltaGracia, located in the southern half of Costa Rica, is perfectly placed in a cloud forest of the Talamanca Mountain Range. The climate gives way to an abundant and varied fauna and flora: 10,000 flowering plant species and 1,000 fern species. And don’t forget the second most diverse population of butterflies and the 600 species of birds. Their songs were just beautiful.
HOW TO GET THERE
The first step before Hacienda AltaGracia is flying into San Jose. You have the option to take a short private flight or car to the resort. I decided to take the adventurous route and hop into a small 2-seater Cessna. Glad I only had carry-on luggage as it was a tight squeeze.
While the views were amazing for most of the flight, we did hit some clouds that caused some bumps along the way. I’m a total wimp when it comes to motion sickness so I was happy to land safely on their dirt runway, where we were quickly greeted by our Compa Marco (Compa translates to friend) and a delectable fruit drink. Marco and Ronald were our compass for the duration of stay and handled absolutely everything for us.
All of the accommodations at Hacienda AltaGracia are free standing one- or two-bedroom casitas. We opted for one with a private pool and it definitely did not disappoint.
The rooms are set up to encourage guests to take in their surroundings, whether from the plunge pool or the bedroom itself. Surrounded by Costa Rican artwork and culture, I had no problem disconnecting from the distractions of modern life.
FOOD AND DRINK
This location is the perfect blend of wellness, adventure and mother nature’s finest creations, not to mention the incredible food. Our meals were all locally sourced and each night the menu changed. My favorite dishes were the frijoles in bone broth with chicken clouds, prawn ceviche and the homemade guacamole.
The fruit was incredibly fresh and served each morning. Many times the fruit was new to us, not something we see here in the states. Each night at dinner our server, Duane, would bring out a piece of local fruit and show us how they open it and explain how they eat it. A few types of fruit they served with mayo, which I thought was odd at the time, but she assured us it was delicious.
Of course, we can’t forget the cocktails. Every night before dinner we joined Matthew, the talented bartender, for a craft cocktail. Ficus was my favorite drink of the trip. It’s a beautiful mix of cucumber and gin and an absolute must!
EXPLORING COSTA RICA
Although the resort was packed full of wellness and relaxation, the activities we explored made the trip even better. With five kilometers of winding and well-trodden paths to roam the wonders of the Costa Rican jungle right outside our casita, we weren’t lacking inspiration for adventure.
I did not make it far from the forest floor in my attempt to climb to the top of a Ficus tree but my husband channeled his inner child and made it to the top in no time. The trunk is mixed with twisted limbs which provide nooks and crannies to help you along the way. Close by there was a tree canopy net that allowed you to lie back and enjoy the view from the top of the trees.
We also made a day trip over to the Pacific where we found a wide, hidden beach surrounded by tropical forest. The short hike was the perfect barrier to keep the crowds away and offer us a private beach to ourselves.
The resorts attention to detail was second to none. After our muddy hikes, Ronald noticed our shoes, and by the time we returned from dinner they looked brand new. This simple act of kindness only furthered our highly positive opinions of the Hacienda AltaGracia resort.
Don’t hesitate to reach out the next time you plan a visit to Costa Rica so I can make sure to outline your own journey and give you all the additional secrets and recommendations I took note of during my visit.
Until the next time I jaunt away, Jennifer.